MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ARE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS IN SUB SAHARAN AFRICA

This is what it's like to be one of them. Medicine alone cannot solve the problem. Without a holistic approach to care, it is impossible to live a full and healthy life. You need every piece of the chain below in order to provide for your family and raise your children. In East Africa, it’s difficult to access the resources you need. Many men and women who are HIV+ die a premature death, leaving behind an average of four orphans per household. 

 The cost of going without care

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frequently asked questions about HIV/AIDS

How is HIV transmitted?

HIV is a virus that is transmitted through specific bodily fluids (blood, semen, breastmilk). HIV can be transmitted during unprotected sex, through sharing needles, from mother-to-baby during pregnancy or birth, and through contaminated blood transfusions. You cannot contract HIV through saliva, sweat, urine, sharing food, or non-sexual physical contact with an infected person.

Why is HIV a problem in East Africa?

East Africa’s HIV epidemic is generalized – affecting all sections of society including children, young people, adults, women and men. Due to lack of education about the disease and how it is transmitted, there is a higher prevalence of infection among people living in poverty. Women are particularly vulnerable to infection because of lack of access to education and resources.

What is an undetectable viral load?

Someone living with HIV can have an 'undetectable' viral load, meaning effective treatment has lowered the amount of HIV virus in their blood to levels where it cannot be detected by a blood test. Those who have an undetectable viral load cannot pass the virus to others.

Is the epidemic getting any better?

The infection rate has fallen from 10.5% in 1996 to 6% in recent years. Although the overall infection rate has fallen, there is still a high infection rate in urban slums, and unfortunately the infection rate is rising in youth populations.

If medication is free, why do people need a program?

Medication is free through the Kenyan government, but without social services and education related to nutrition and medication adherence, HIV+ men and women are still at risk of opportunistic infection and premature death.

How do you address mother to child transmission?

Mother to child transmission is avoidable with proper medical care and a hygienic birth. We ensure that each client in our program has access to what she needs to prevent mother to child transmission, and we are proud that 92% of the babies born to mothers in the CARE for AIDS program have been born HIV-negative.

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